Was Willie Mays the greatest center fielder of all-time?

When you examine the five factors – power, batting average, speed, fielding and arm strength – the answer is a clear-cut yes.

I grew up in the 1960’s closely watching baseball. Many of the superstars of that era had a certain flair and charisma that is not replicated by any of today’s stars.

Mays not only was great, but he had a magical excitement and special way of doing things that set him apart from mere mortals. Hank Aaron, Mickey Mantle and Roberto Clemente had this, too. But Mays was the absolute best. If the Hall of Fame had a tier system – which they should have – Mays would be at the highest level.

Major League Baseball was so wrong and gutless to prevent blacks from playing until 1947. We’re so lucky that Mays’ career started a few years later and that we’re able to documents his statistics, see film of him and have watched him play on TV unlike earlier black superstars such as Josh Gibson, Oscar Charleston and Cool Papa Bell to name just a few whose careers were finished before the color barrier finally was broken.

I’m so glad Mays got to live a full life living to be 93. RIP.



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